nullnullWe had a fabulous fall festival here at Bethel!  The weather was great—after weeks of rain and cold (even during the state fair!) we had sunshine and warmth.

The crowd was delightful! Families from our Early Learning Center, Highland Meadows Elementary school families, Spanish learners from our ESL classes, and Bethel kids as well, all together in one place having a great time.

The volunteers were true servants, helping kids with games, giving out candy, serving refreshments, a cross-generational group that included our youth as well as our mature disciples and every one in between, making sure everyone enjoyed themselves.

And aside from parents and kids having a great time, I want to share 3 vignettes. First, as I was talking to a family I knew from our preschool, and smiling at their infant daughter, they mentioned:  you know, she’s not baptized yet. I quickly said: whenever you are ready, I am available.  What an opportunity!

As we spoke to the woman selling the food as a fund raiser for the Highland Meadows PTA (thanks for your purchases!), we found out she was looking for a church in the neighborhood.  Needless to say, we invited her to Bethel!

Finally, a family with a four-year old was looking for a preschool. The ELC 4-year old teacher happened to be helping with a game, so we got them together.

Now I cannot tell you how any of these situations will turn out. But I do know this:  because of Bethel hosting this event, connections and ministry opportunities happened that would not have happened otherwise.   You can be glad for our church reaching out into the community God has placed us in.

Pastor Randy Haedge

P.S. Thrivent, the Lutheran insurance company many of you know about, helped with this event by providing some funding, T-shirts, and other materials. Any of you of own Thrivent products may, twice a year, apply to form what is called a Thrivent Action Team. I have done it twice already this year for Bethel community events (and received $250 for each event) for help. It need not be Bethel related—if you have a neighbor, for example, in need, or something at a local school you support—you can apply. Talk to myself or Pastor Chris or Mike Sell (our Thrivent rep) for more information.  Thrivent wants to share and live generously by offering these grants.